Demographic changes (such as increased urbanisation), economic and technological power shifts and climate change are having a significant impact on the automotive industry globally. In order to remain competitive, industry players need to embrace these changes as opportunities and develop their business models accordingly.

Through our experience of working with clients in the industry, we understand the specific issues faced by automotive players today which include:

  • economic uncertainty
  • continued drive for efficiency
  • industry consolidation
  • growing demand in emerging markets
  • development of new technologies
  • supply chain management
  • access to raw materials

These issues suggest that automotive companies will need to focus on technological innovation, while also maximising their strategic alliances and cooperations with key market players, requiring knowledge of the relevant legal issues and cross-cultural considerations.

How we can help

M&A, financing, corporate governance, tax considerations, litigation, intellectual property rights, employment, antitrust and foreign investment regulations are all areas in which our lawyers have gained expertise through deals completed, client secondments and direct experience from previous automotive industry roles.

Deep industry knowledge and our experience of advising the world’s leading automotive companies, means that we are well placed to help clients navigate the legal challenges involved in meeting their strategic objectives.

Recent automotive transactions include advising:
  • Intel on the competition and merger control aspects of its acquisition of a 15% stake in Here, a global provider of digital maps and location-based services for automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) from BMW, Audi and Daimler, entering into a collaboration agreement for the R&D of an architecture that would support HD maps for highly and fully automated driving
  • BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Personal Finance in the context of the €900m acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall’s captive financing activities
  • Peugeot S.A. on the envisaged acquisition of Adam Opel AG ZF Friedrichshafen AG and ZF International B.V. on the SEK 4.411bn competing takeover bid on Haldex Aktiebolag
  • Panasonic corporation on its acquisition of 100% of the shares in OpenSynergy GmbH, a German company specialized in embedded automotive software for in-car cockpit solutions
  • Delphi Automotive plc on the GBP 1.07bn offer for HellermannTyton Group plc
  • Volkswagen AG on its US$19bn takeover of German truck and bus manufacturer, MAN
  • Audi on its acquisition of Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer, Ducati
  • PSA Peugeot Citroen on the competition aspects of its global JV with General Motors
  • Pang Da on its investment in and JV with Spyker to distribute of Saab cars in China
  • Chery Automobile on its JV with General Motors in India
  • Tata Motors on its acquisition of 79% of Spanish coach-builder, Hispano Carrocera
  • the lenders in a comprehensive de-leveraging and debt restructuring transaction for the Schaeffler Group
  • the lenders on the restructuring of €600m financial indebtedness of Pininfarina, the Italian car manufacturer
  • Schwäbische Hüttenwerke Automotive (SHW) on its €150 IPO
  • Michelin on its €1.2bn rights issue
  • Autometal on its R$454m IPO